The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in April. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1 percent from 6.0 percent in March.
The report missed consensus analysts’ estimates of 1 million new jobs created in the month.
“Labor force participation is at its highest point since last August, and the number of people expressing hesitancy about returning to work due to the coronavirus is at its lowest point in the pandemic,” Labor Secretary Martin Walsh said. “However, the numbers also show we have a steep climb ahead of us.”
Walsh cited demographic shifts upward in unemployment rates in April. The Black unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent while the Hispanic jobless rate was level at 7.9 percent.
“It’s going to take time and effort to heal this economy,” Walsh said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the manufacturing sector lost 18,000 jobs in April after gains in March and February. The total included 27,000 lost jobs in motor vehicles and parts as auto manufacturers idled plants in response to the microchip processor shortage.
Retail employment fell by 15,000 jobs in April.
The strongest gains came in the leisure and hospitality sector, adding 331,000 jobs. More than half the increase came in food services and drinking places. The segment added 187,000 jobs in April.